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Conservatives Say Episcopal Gay Endorsement is Apostasy
by J. Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor
11 August 2003Episcopalian Shield

The Episcopal Church has gone over the line by ordaining a practicing homosexual clergyman as a bishop.

The Episcopal Church will go further into anti-God mode if that church approves the ordination of a practicing homosexual clergyman.

That is not according to the Associated Press nor the conservative Christianity Today periodical. It is according to the Holy Scriptures.

Though the homosexuals have sought to reinvent the Scriptures concerning passages related to homosexuality, they cannot do so via legitimate exegesis. That is, they cannot endorse a practicing homosexual lifestyle by an accurate study of the Bible.

They have been attempting to do this over time and therefore have moved past the "shock stage" to the "argument stage" and on to the "ho-hum stage." However, those who regard the Bible as divine revelation will never reach the "ho-hum stage." They will live in the shock and debate stages for they will continue to defend what they regard as divinely revealed truth.

Those who have a low view of Holy Scriptures usually contend that tradition and human opinion are on the same authoritative level as the Word. Therefore, they can use such other modalities than the Word by which to reach Christian doctrine. However, those who regard the Holy Scriptures as sole divine truth cannot use any other modalities by which to understand doctrine, hence the debate going round and round.

Once a person uses another postulate than a second person, the two postulates will lead to two different conclusions. That is what is going on presently in the Episcopal Church in America. The two factions are arguing, sometimes debating, from two different postulates — the one based solely on Holy Scriptures interpreted accurately and the other based on tradition / human opinion as well as low view of Holy Scriptures.

When tradition and human opinion are said to be put on the same par as Holy Scriptures, the former two often take precedent over the third. In the case of homosexuality as an acceptable practicing Christian lifestyle, this is the case for the liberals. What liberals say they are doing when putting the three authoritative modes on the same level is not actually what is happening. Holy Scriptures take second place to tradition / human opinion for liberals.

Consequently, for those holding to the Bible alone as the authoritative foundation for doctrine, they are incensed by any within any segment of Christendom arguing / debating for the practicing homosexual lifestyle as legitimate. It is not only unacceptable but it is anathema, that is, it must be spewed out as devilment-in-doctrine. It cannot be regarded as having a ghost of a chance before God.

When the latter is taken as a crystallized approach, such believers contend the Episcopal Church has gone too far into the anti-God mode. They have gone over the line by approving the acceptance and then the ordaining of a practicing homosexual clergyman — not only as a minister of the gospel but even more seriously as a bishop.

Nerves are hot presently within not only the Episcopal Church but throughout Christendom when it comes to any believer taking seriously the gravity of the present debate within the Anglican Communion.

No doubt if the ordination is accepted by the church body presently meeting, the uproar will continue at all levels of this particular denomination. The debate will spill over into other denominations as well.

There probably will be those Episcopalians who will split from the present Episcopal Church, as has already been done in some sections of the United States. What has already begun then will continue with other denominational labels given to those holding to the Prayer Book ritual.

Reverend Gene Robinson is in the middle of all this and not seeming to mind it at all. After all, he, with his fellow homosexuals, regard such as a furtherance of their practicing homosexuality lifestyle cause. The New Hampshire Episcopal Church diocese in June accepted him as their bishop. Now the matter is before the Episcopal Church Convention in Minnesota for ratification of his ordination. Will the Minnesota conclave approve of his bishopric?

Last Friday a committee within the convention approved his election to ordination. The matter has been sent to the House of Deputies for a second vote this Sunday. If sanctioned, a final ballot will be cast on Monday by the House of Bishops.

Liberals are championing the move for approval as another acceptance of liberalism’s acceptance within a religious context. Conservatives conclude within the United Sates and foreign bishoprics that if approval is granted, this segment of the Anglican Communion will have gone too far.

Therefore, there no doubt will be break-offs to demand a Scriptural foundation to Christian doctrine within the church.

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is the Pastor of New Hope Church in Windham, ME.  His columns have appeared on on IntellectualConservative.com, VIOdaily.com, AmericanDaily.com, MensNewsDaily.com, BushCountry.org, Chalcedon.com, ConservativeTruth.com, FreeRepublic.com, and WoundedShepherds.com, among others

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